A new transportation bill, MAP-21 (Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century) was recently passed by Congress.
Included are a number of efforts aimed at reducing the number of trucking accidents across the country. But even with the $105 billion bill, there's still much to be done. Initially, the bill was signed back in July by President Obama. This was the first long-term highway authorization act that has been passed since 2005.
Our Los Angeles trucking accident lawyers understand the threats that large, commercial trucks pose for the rest of us in passenger vehicles. In these accidents, it is the occupants of these smaller vehicles, like the ones that you and I drive, who are most likely to be injured or killed.
One of the biggest improvements: The creation of a database in which drug tests can be recorded. The truth of the matter is that we need better recording systems for information on this industry. Too many unsafe vehicles and unsafe drivers are falling through the cracks with the current system.
"These rules, along with the new drug and alcohol database, will go a long way towards reducing truck/car fatalities in America," said Steve Owings. Owings is the founder of RoadSafe America.
Changes for Safer Trucking:
Better Drug Testing: The problem with current drug tests is that they're easy to fool. Currently, urine is tested. A better way to test for drugs would be to test hair. This would greatly increase accountability.
Stop Medical Exemptions: Drivers should be banned from operating their vehicles when under the influence of narcotic painkillers. Even with a note from the doctor, the effects of these medications can have some deadly effects on our roadways.
More Advanced Driving Technology: These technologies may include adaptive cruise control and collision avoidance. There are already technologies that have been proven, like speed-limiters, to be able to reduce the risks of accidents.
Liability: Both shippers and receivers need to be held accountable. The company that owns the freight needs to have the obligation to make sure that transport is safe. Those who hire truckers are encouraged to not only look at pricing, but to look at safety as well!
Driver Health: Medical examiners of these truckers need to be certified and they need to be listed within the new database. These examiners will be recognized by the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). Trucks are required to get yearly exams. As it stands now, drivers can pay for "unethical" exams from doctors. Drivers who have to pass their exam hire these "professionals." When this is done, unsafe and unhealthy drivers are left behind the wheel on our roadways.
If you were injured in a car or trucking accident, contact personal injury attorney Vincent Howard today for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your case. Call (800) 872-5925.
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